Sprinting together for glory
The girls' athletics team for the All China Secondary Schools Students' Games beginning on July 16 started their training together last week. They are expected to hone their cohesion in the relay race before they join the rest of the Hong Kong delegation in Bautao.
Young Post met the team during last Friday's training. Long-distance runner Chan Yee-ki was away competing in the first Asian Schools Cross-Country Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Lui Lai-yiu, a Form Four hurdler from Pui Ching Middle School, will meanwhile shoulder the duties of team leader. She was just named Sports Girl of the Year for Coeducational Schools by the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation.
The Hong Kong hurdler expects to be in the final of the 100m sprint. 'My personal best time can get me into the top four,' Lai-yiu said. 'But many factors can affect the result so I am not sure about a medal.'
Her Hong Kong team partner Amy Lo Ka-lam from Good Hope School is the second best junior in Hong Kong for both the 100m and 200m sprints.
'I will run at full steam in both events,' the Form Four student stressed. 'My target is to reach my personal best in the races so as to get the number one spot in the junior rankings this year.'
She will face intense competition in the 100m sprint but will aim for a semi-final finish. 'I think we have a better chance of a good result in the 4x100m relay than in individual events,' Amy added.
Sprinter Abby Yan Hoi-tung, a Form Three student from Maryknoll Convent School, already participated in the previous All China Secondary Schools Games in Changsha two years ago. She wants to do better this time.
Yeung Man-wai, a Form Three student from Diocesan Girls' School, will compete in the high jump at the Games. She is a new star of this year's Division One Inter-school Athletics Championships, where she clinched the silver medal in the high jump. She is ranked no 2 in the girls' high jump in Hong Kong and fancies her chances in Bautao.
'I am not in top form at the moment as I had a break after intense training in March,' she said.
'But I think I should be able to pick up my form under my coach's instruction so I am confident I can achieve good results at the Games.'
Man-wai's schoolmate, long jumper Katie Lee Ming-wai, is slightly worried. The Form Five student is the only girl on the team who may end up competing in both track and field events at the Games.
'I would like to attain my personal best in the long jump,' she said. 'I am also a reserve runner for the 4x100m relay race so I may compete in that, too.'
The team's coach is Wong Chiu-keung, who was also in charge of the girls' athletics team in Changsha.
'I know from experience that the standard of the competition is very high. To an extent it is even higher than at world events,' Wong said.
'I hope our team members will be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. They should keep their spirit up throughout the competition, no matter what results they get at first,' the teacher added.
The complete list of the girls' athletics team:
Lo Ka-lam (Good Hope School); Chan Ka-sin (St Clare's Girls' School); Abby Yan Hoi-tung (Maryknoll Convent School); Poon Hang-wai (Good Hope School); Chan Yee-ki (STFA Lee Shau Kee College); Lui Lai-yiu (Pui Ching Middle School); Yeung Man-wai (Diocesan Girls' School); Katie Lee Ming-wai (Diocesan Girls' School)